12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Graham ordered to testify in Ga. Trump election probe 

Lindsey Graham
FILE – Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters about aid to Ukraine, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 10, 2022, in Washington. The Georgia prosecutor investigating the conduct of former President Donald Trump and his allies after the 2020 election is trying to compel U.S. Sen. Graham and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to testify before a special grand jury. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, filed petitions with the judge overseeing the special grand jury. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


A judge says Lindsey Graham has to testify

A federal judge ruled on Monday morning that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is required to testify in the investigation of former President Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 Georgia election results. 

What Graham argued: He has immunity from testifying due to being a federal legislator. 

But the judge said: Nope. 

When is the interview?: Aug. 23. 

Read the 22-page decision 

Context on what this move could mean, via The Hill’s Harper Neidig 

From Graham: “This is ridiculous. This weaponization of the law needs to stop. So I will use the courts. We will go as far as we need to go and do whatever needs to be done to make sure that people like me can do their jobs without fear of some county prosecutor coming after you.” 

IT’S MONDAY AND WE ARE OFFICIALLY IN AUGUST RECESS. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

🏛 In Mar-a-Lago 

Trump wants everyone to take a chill pill

In an interview with Fox News, former President Trump said that the “temperature has to be brought down,” following the firestorm over classified documents brought out of the White House and the subsequent FBI warrant to search his residence.  

Trump’s message: “The country is in a very dangerous position. There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one — years of scams and witch hunts, and now this. … If there is anything we can do to help, I, and my people, would certainly be willing to do that.” More from Trump’s interview, via Fox News’s Brooke Singman 

Via The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, “[A] person close to Mr. Trump reached out to a Justice Department official to pass along a message from the former president to the attorney general. Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Garland to know that he had been checking in with people around the country and found them to be enraged by the search.” 

The message from Trump: “The message Mr. Trump wanted conveyed, according to a person familiar with the exchange, was: ‘The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?’ ” The full Times report 

Take a gander, folks

A court unsealed the Justice Department’s warrant of former President Trump’s Florida residence on Friday. And according to those court records, federal law enforcement suspected that Trump violated the Espionage Act. 

See for yourselfHere’s the warrant 

Specifically, here’s a list of the documents and items the FBI seized: 33 items in total were taken. 

Meanwhile, Trump wants documents back

In a Sunday post on his social media platform Truth Social, former President Trump called for the documents seized by the FBI warrant to be returned due to attorney-client and executive privileges. 

Trump posted: “Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!”  

The New York Times’s Charlie Savage wrote a helpful Q&A of what how the classifications work — and the potential legal ramifications. Read 

What are Republicans saying about the search?

Right after former President Trump announced the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago residence, congressional Republicans ran to his defense and slammed the agency’s actions. 

But now: “On Sunday, more moderate voices in the party chastised their colleagues for the broadsides against law enforcement, making a more restrained case for defending Mr. Trump while also carrying out oversight of the Justice Department.”  

The deep fissures on display among Republicans, via The New York Times’s Luke Broadwater

🏛 One year ago

The Taliban took control of Kabul

“The Taliban on Monday marked a year since they seized the Afghan capital of Kabul, a rapid takeover that triggered a hasty escape of the nation’s Western-backed leaders, sent the economy into a tailspin and fundamentally transformed the country.” 

What does Afghanistan look like now?: “The former insurgents struggle to govern and remain internationally isolated. The economic downturn has driven millions more Afghans into poverty and even hunger, as the flow of foreign aid slowed to a trickle.” 

What about life for women in Afghanistan?: “Teenage girls are still barred from school and women are required to cover themselves head-to-toe in public, with only the eyes showing.”  

More on the situation in Afghanistan now, via The Associated Press’s Rahim Faiez and Ebrahim Noroozi

🦠 In health news 

The name ‘monkeypox’ isn’t the best

The World Health Organization (WHO) is renaming two variants of the monkeypox virus due to geographic concerns. 

The new names: Clade I and Clade II 

The WHO said in a statement: “Newly identified viruses, related diseases & virus variants are given names to avoid causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, & minimize the negative impact on trade, travel, tourism, or animal welfare.”  

So just the variants?: Well, yes, for now. The WHO has been working on renaming the monkeypox virus entirely. 


Cases to date: 92.5 million 

Death toll: 1,031,426 

Current hospitalizations: 35,002 

Shots administered: 606 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.3 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

Ah, this looks relaxing

The Associated Press’s Seung Min Kim tweeted a video ofPresident Biden riding his bike on the beach. Watch

On tap 

The House and Senate are out.  

President Biden is in South Carolina.  

Vice President Harris is in Hawaii. 

I.e.: It’s a predictably quiet August day. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 11 a.m.: The Heritage Foundation held an event on parental rights in education. Watch 
  • Before the end of August: Cabinet members are expected to take 35 trips to 23 states to promote the Inflation Reduction Act. What to watch

🍋 In lighter news 

Today is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

And because I love surveillance footage of dogs being weird, here’s an average afternoon looks like for these two pals.

Tags 12:30 Report Afghanistan documents Kabul Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham Mar-a-Lago Monkeypox Trump FBI raid
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